Long after being bullied, many individuals find it difficult to leave their bullying experiences behind and have difficulty confidently move forward with their lives. Memories of being bullied often remain as an agitation that detracts from personal happiness and wellbeing. This study included 10 female and three male undergraduate students who reported experiencing mild to moderate bulling during childhood. Participants were self-proclaimed Harry Potter fans. All participants reported previously reading the entire Harry Potter book series. As a reframing strategy to address past bullying experiences, this research utilized bibliotherapy in addition to scriptotherapy. Participants selected one chapter from the Harry Potter series, one that they were already familiar with and that included bullying situations. They rewrote the chapter, inserting themselves as a character into the story with the original characters. In re-writing the chapter, participants built and maintained constructive peer relationships with familiar characters in the Harry Potter series. They inserted themselves into their selected chapter as standing up against the story’s characters who were portrayed as bullies. Based on feedback from participant interviews, individuals reported that the writing experience supported them in reframing their painful memories of bullying. They perceived themselves in a proactive position, and thus perceived the experience in a more positive light. In turn, this experience of reframing their personal story supported them in mitigating the unsettling and painful memories of bullying that they experienced during adolescence. Based on the participants’ feedback, recommendations are made for mental health professionals to more effectively intervene with youth who experience bullying. The combined strategies of bibliotherapy and scriptotherapy support individuals’ reframing of their past bullying experiences. Although this research was conducted with youth who were Harry Potter fans, youth who struggle with other challenges may also benefit from a combination of bibliotherapy and scriptotherapy. When youth identify with characters in children’s literature, this relationship with fictional characters may form the foundation for reframing and rethinking past challenges. Youth who enjoy writing and expressing themselves in creative ways may be especially open to scriptotherapy.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





bibliotherapy, bullying, scriptotherapy, Harry Potter, reframing



Included in

Education Commons